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Local Wonders a slice of music scene

MATT JAMES, Of the Record staff
Local Wonders Take Two was released last month. The first Local Wonders CD came out in the summer of 2004. Image courtesy of Mountain Town Stages.
3Mt-Town-Review

"We exist to foster and support an internationally recognized musical community in our beautiful mountain setting." So reads the first sentence of Mountain Town Stages’ mission statement.

Normally, that means programming a wide-ranging lineup for the organization’s sizeable slate of summer concerts and adding a variety of other shows throughout the year. However, the organization has also made a foray, recently, into some new territory.

In 2004, the Mountain Town Stages released its first CD, "Local Wonders, The Music of Mountain Town Stages." That CD highlighted a selection of 12 past Mountain Town performers, from the acoustic guitar of Doug Wintch to the piano performance of Mary Beth Maziarz. The CD worked so well, the organization decided to make another.

Last month, Mountain Town released its second recording, "Local Wonders Take Two," with the nonprofit’s first annual Main Street Music Crawl.

The new offering features three repeat performers Maziarz, jazz players John Flanders & Double Helix and folk singer-songwriter Kathryn Warner plus nine new artists.

Almost everyone, though, would be recognizable to the average local music connoisseur. Some well-known Park City performers are among the newcomers, including piano man Rich Wyman, Fastback front-man Chris Bender and Tony Oros, who is perhaps, the town’s most prolific player.

But all of the artists have played on a Mountain Town stage at one point or another, and ultimately, the CD shows the range of the organization’s offerings. The compilation is offers everything from traditional acoustic folk to blues-y soul tunes and Wyman’s light rock styling, with a couple stops between, but almost all of the songs focus on a singer-songwriter theme and none push the volume farther than one would want on a contemplative car ride.

Among the disc’s highlights are its opener, from Neil Bradley Owen, which offers a slick, folk-blues piece, and Damien Roomets’ track, "Getaway Car," which combines a Jack Johnson-beat with blues vocals and some particularly slick dobro action. Otherwise, Jeff Hinton’s country track, "The Horse Race," shines and Kathryn Warner’s and Stacey Board’s respective folk tracks offer sharp lyrics and sweet guitars. Chris Bender’s "Wonder Why," offer’s a poignant moment as well, with the late Brian Hess on piano.

With artists like Hess, Bender, Oros and Wyman and Maziarz, the CD provides not only a snapshot of Mountain Town’s offerings, but a slice of the whole Park City Music scene. While the album might leave off cover bands and Grateful Dead disciples, almost everything else is represented.

So, for those in town looking for a souvenir, or anyone with a love of Summit County’s local players, "Local Wonders Take Two" will serve as a welcome reminder of Mountain Town’s musical afternoons on the Summit Watch Plaza, in Miners Park or out on the rodeo grounds in Peoa. For those new to the nonprofit’s ways, the CD can serve another purpose as well, offering a teaser, a preview of the bands (and types of bands) to come this summer, when the sun is out, the breeze is blowing and, sitting in the shade, the time seems right for a cool beverage, and the thought, "Man it’s great to live in Park City," comes to mind.

For more information about Mountain Town Stages or for information on where to find a copy of "Local Wonders Take Two," visit http://www.mountaintownstages.com . All proceeds from the sales of the album go to Mountain Town Stages.


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